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A Rocky Getaway in L.A.’s Backyard

April 5, 2012 in environment, History

Red Rock Canyon

Forget your troubles, come on get dizzy. That’s what I did last weekend on a hike from Topanga Canyon area through Red Rock Canyon to the top of Calabasas Peak. The hike was about 4.5 miles, pretty short as the crow flies, but there was a lot of climbing (up to 2,000+ feet) and zig-zagging, plus we took some rock scrambling side trips, so it was challenging. One highlight of the hike was the rocky terrain, consisting of numerous sandstone outcroppings. At times I thought I was in Zion National Park, not the Santa Monica Mountains just minutes from L.A. Many of these rocks are tilted at Titanic angles, and it’s mind-boggling to think that they were once under sea, and how it has taken them millions of years to get to this point. There were even seashell fossils in some of the rocks, as the picture after the jump indicates.

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ICME: The Return of Green

February 23, 2009 in ICME, Pets

When a group of friends and our dogs went for a hike in Aliso Canyon Park a couple of months ago, it was kind of depressing. A victim of the October 2008 Sesnon Fire in Porter Ranch, it was mostly brown and peppered with charred remains of destroyed trees. Several of us returned yesterday to find the recent rains jump started the return of some green.

Aliso Canyon Park, Porter Ranch<br>Photo by Jodi

Unlike the trail queequeg hiked recently, there were no poop bag or mitt stations. Perhaps for that reason, or even the fact that there are no garbage cans anywhere in the vicinity, no one seems to pick up after their dogs or horses (!) I suppose that’s due to it being an undeveloped park with limited maintenance.

Luckily, there was a gas station nearby so I didn’t have to drive too far with dog poo in my car!

Getting Back To Nature In Franklin Canyon Park

January 27, 2009 in LA, SoCal

With the break from the rain we got this past weekend, it was the perfect time to get back out on the hiking trails. Admittedly, I’ve been going through a lazy spell for too long and haven’t been hitting the dirt as often as I’d like. Hoping to jump start a change, I headed over to Franklin Canyon Park this past Sunday with a group of friends and our dogs. Surprisingly, I only recently discovered the oasis that is nestled between Studio City and Beverly Hills. Since I’ve only been there twice now, and took the same route both times, I have much of the 605 acres to explore.

The abundance and accessibility of nature in Los Angeles is one of my very favorite things about living here. Like so many of L.A.’s outdoor havens, Franklin Canyon Park lets you “get away from it all” without going very far from home. Aside from the occasional helicopter or plane, you really don’t hear other city noises. It’s very green and there is even water, which dates back to the early 1900’s when William Mullholland was bringing water to L.A. Two reservoirs and a duck pond are only a couple of the park’s unique features.

Read on for more info and a few photos

Weekend Outing: Gabrielino Trail

June 14, 2008 in Uncategorized


Last weekend I went searching for Evergreen Cemetery. By the time I got there, it was closed. The dead were, apparently, off duty. So faced with nothing else to do I explored the area between the 10-710 interchange and the San Gabriel Mountains, delving into a neighborhood that, even after five years in the L.A. area, was still a mystery to me. I wound up on a bluff in Altadena, overlooking JPL where, happily, I found a trailhead. The next day, I explored it with a friend and found this:

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